Comment of the Moment: The (Dis)-Passion of A Neil Young Fan
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As with all things Neil, there must be contradictions wherever an opinion is ventured.
Just as we lamented on the decline of quality comments here at TW, no sooner than a number pop up on the Comment of the Moment: The Passion of A Neil Young Fan thread where we highlighted a particularly passionate long time Neil fan.
But of course some folks just have to disagree that a 68 year old rock veteran is still relevant and vibrant. Some see it -- but many don't, like TopangaDaze who said...
I still follow Neil and always will, but my passion has waned greatly. Neil has always been wildly inconsistent in both thought and action, but I actually think he's losing his integrity and credibility with these recent ridiculously simple, sloppy commentary concept albums.Thanks TopangaDaze for the opinion which many agree and disagree with.
Playing armchair psychologist, as I've said before, I think it comes down to his ever increasing fear. Not just his fear for the planet or the future, but for his relevance. For the most part he's afraid to commit to truly working on an album because he fears it will be criticized, or worse yet, ignored.
These immediate commentary throwaway albums are his way of saying how authentic he is and how sales and critics don't matter to him. In reality, I believe they now matter more to him than ever, but he can't face his increasing irrelevance. By releasing these largely one-take concepts, he's able to entirely hedge his bets. He can always say he just wants to get his thoughts out to the public as quickly as possible, but to me he's really saying he doesn't think he can do any better and doesn't want to have to face that reality.
He is still an incredible musician as his live shows attest, but on record as a creative musically poetic songwriter, those days are likely regrettably gone.
On a more positive note, he's already created a treasure trove of material for us to savor and digest as long as we all may run.
It seems that the long knives are emerging even before The Monsanto Years album is released in June judging by the pre-judgements. And we've seen how these pre-judgements turn out before. Remember The Judgement Not To Pre-Judge "Americana", anyone???
Let us just say that if the Internet had been around in the 1980's, we would have read this after TRANS came out. And after Landing on Water came out. And after Life came out. Likewise, in the 1990's after Looking Forward came out. Or, in the 2000's after Are You Passionate? came out or practically every album since then.
In fact, we've tracked this rise and fall of Neil Young "fashion" over the years in articles like Peak Neil?
Or check out the Rust Never Sleeps analysis and The Greendale Challenge for more on artistic freedom and creativity vs. audience pandering.
Lastly, the most important thing to say about Neil Young is that he is a survivor. And not just any survivor but Neil Young is THE quintessential survivor.
peace & love. stay calm. no fear. use discernment. be the wheat. prepare for the big shift and keep on rockin' in the free world.
Labels: neil young